14 January 2002 | Approved: 11 February 2002
Mayor John Compton called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilors Darrell Anderson, Tricia Knox, Peggy Odick, Nick Suzich, and Dodie Tippens. Town residents Ann Briggs, Clare Cavicchi, Charlie Challstrom, Alice Negin and Paris Pacchione also were present.
Approval of Minutes
Darrell Anderson moved, Nick Suzich seconded, that the Town Council minutes of December 10, 2001 be approved. Vote: 5-0.
Nick Suzich moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that the Treasurer’s report for December be accepted. Vote: 5-0.
Mayor Compton announced the following
- Mary Challstrom will step down from the Clerk-Treasurer position, but has offered to continue to serve as Treasurer and help with the transition to a new Clerk.
- The Town has been invited to participate in a meeting to discuss realignment of the “Humpback” bridge. This topic has been discussed several times over the last four decades. Darrell Anderson and Ned Helme have agreed to represent Washington Grove at the meeting.
- Candidates are sought for both the Town Elections Board and the Local Fire Board of the Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Fire Department.
- Casey Property at Mill Creek/Shady Grove Village Status ReportMayor Compton reported that County Legacy Open Space staff are considering presenting their recommendation for part of the Casey Property at Washington Grove to the Planning Board in early February.
They will recommend that the open field along Ridge Road be approved as a Class II site in the Heritage Resource category of the Legacy Open Space Functional Master Plan. Mayor Compton said that the Town’s chances for preserving the field would be enhanced if the Town could find a way to contribute monetarily towards purchase of part of the field. The Mayor reported attending a meeting of the Development Review Committee on December 31 to discuss the 904-unit multifamily housing project proposed by KSI Services. (Shady Grove Village) Attorney Bill Chen, land planner Jackie Seneschal, transportation consultant Joe Cutro and housing consultant Thomas Doerr were also present to represent Town interests. At the behest of Phil Andrews, a meeting has been scheduled for January 29 for all parties interested in development of both Casey properties. The Planning Board will hear staff recommendations for both Casey Property at Mill Creek and Shady Grove Village on February 21. KSI’s petition for a special exception to build Shady Grove Village will go before the County Hearing Examiner on March 7 and 8.
Discussion New Town Clerk
The Council agreed by consensus that Mary Challstrom would retain the Treasurer’s duties and be paid on an hourly basis. Darrell Anderson volunteered to write the "help wanted" ad for a new Town Clerk that would appear in the Town Bulletin, the Maryland Municipal League Bulletin, and the Gaithersburg Gazette. If resumes are received from qualified candidates, interviews will be conducted.
Ordinance to Change Composition of Planning Commission from Seven Members to Five Members Plus an Alternate
Peggy Odick moved, Dodie Tippens seconded, that Ordinance No. 2001-03 be enacted, changing the number of Planning Commission members from seven members to five members plus an alternate. Vote: 5-0. The Council will decide which member of the Commission will serve as alternate.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Commission discussed proposed subdivision of the property at 342 Ridge Road in Washington Grove Hills.
Darrell Anderson reported that the Forestry Committee helped Forester Dan Landry refine plans for the tree inventory at their January meeting. Inventory planning meetings will be scheduled in April and trained volunteers will begin the inventory in May. Data collection should be completed by October 2002 and put into an Excel database. Kristin Perry has volunteered to prepare and submit the applications for Tree City U.S.A. and Maryland Plant Community awards again this year. Planning for Arbor Day has begun. Mary Challstrom reported that the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s count of gypsy moth egg cases was extremely low and that spraying will not be necessary this year.
Darrell Anderson reported that he attended the Municipal League’s Montgomery County Chapter Legislative Dinner. Senator Hogan and all District 39 delegates were in attendance, as was Planning Board Chairman Arthur Holmes. One of the legislative priorities this year is to enact enabling legislation to provide to all municipalities in Montgomery and Prince George’s County discretionary authority to exercise full planning and zoning powers.
Tricia Knox said she would work with Jim Fletcher to improve the sight distance at the Chestnut Road and Brown Street intersection where there is a large high hedge.
Dodie Tippens reported that A-J Marine would start work on the new Maple Lake dock this winter, weather permitting. Ed Mroczka has designed a new ladder that he and Jim Fletcher will build. Jim Leng will return as a lifeguard next summer. The Lake Committee will soon begin the task of finding a swimming instructor and additional lifeguards.
Dodie Tippens announced that Karen Kelly, Terry Strother, Joli McCathran and Missy Yachup have volunteered to work jointly on “Summer in the Parks.” The Recreation Committee discussed ideas to help solve the problem of noisy children disrupting the Holiday Concert. Ideas included: adding brief instruction in concert etiquette to children’s choir rehearsals; asking parents to require that kids sit with them; asking parents to remove kids from the Hall who are not able to follow etiquette; addition of formal intermission to provide a break; and add roping in front of the adult choir as a visual barrier. Everyone agreed that the goal is to have the Holiday Concert continue as a family celebration.
Mary Challstrom reported that the Town had received notice from the County Board of Appeals that KMC Telecom, Inc. has applied for a special exception to build a 7’x13’x 9′ equipment shelter on the R-200 property at 16900 Oakmont Avenue. This property is owned by CDS and is adjacent to the industrial CDS property where they store trash dumpsters. A zoning error was made last year and the equipment shelter, for which the special exception is requested, was permitted to be built. Mayor Compton asked that Sheldon Bierman be asked to help in this battle to ward off industrial encroachment.
The Mayor asked Mary Challstrom to query both the Browns at 16 Maple Avenue and the McConnells at 10 Maple Avenue, to get their opinion about placement for a new street light in that block of Maple Avenue. A new street light has been requested by the McConnells to improve safety.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 p.m.